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Black Crow

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  1. It was Stannis, not Melisandre, who spoke of the Others being made of snow and ice and cold. The Reeds' oath [or rather the oath they are reciting] is about balance and I agree that so far as the Dragonlords are concerned it originally goes back to Torrhen Stark. Along comes Aegon conquering everything in sight, fire and blood and all that, but then he reaches the north and it all stops - Fire is checked by Ice
  2. GRRM latest podcast: I hope to wrap up the story line for one of the viewpoint characters of WINDS OF WINTER this week. Maybe even two.
  3. Before looking at the Musgrave Ritual, I think its worth pausing for a moment to look at Ser Puddles, just to summarise where he firs in, because while we've long noted the manner of his going, the whole thing needs putting together. There's a tendency to see the Others/White Walkers as a mysterious race up north, just itching to invade Westeros' green and pleasant land. In fact we have stories relating to individuals both in legend, by report from near Eastwatch and of course by Craster's wives, but the only "confirmed" sightings in the book are the six who scragged Ser Waymar, and Ser Puddles. We don't know anything about the six, except that its cold and they appear through the trees. Ser Puddles' appearance is both specific and consistent with other clues. GRRM first tells us that they aint dead [thus clearly distinguishing them from the Wights] but are a different kind of life. Stannis speaks of them being formed of snow and ice and in the context of that statement he's referencing familiar knowledge/stories rather than a unique opinion. Then we have the Varamyr prologue where we learn of the journey between skinchanger hosts [ie; there's not always an instantaneous transfer]. Putting those scraps together with the appearance - and disappearance - of Ser Puddles, we find... An incorporeal soul riding the cold winds. Snow falls or is dislodged from a tree. Ser Puddles appears with a body formed from snow and ice. Sam, by accident, stabs him with a dragonglass dagger and in GRRM's words breaks the spell holding the body together. Ser Puddles blows away.
  4. The obvious answer here is that Ser Puddles formed his body from the pile of snow being unloaded from the tree
  5. I think that's a good point which will be developed as the story goes on, although the list of active players may turn out to be shorter. Mance [or whoever he might really be] is an obvious player. Lady Barbrey I'm not sure about insofar as her interest may be too obvious, ie; while the interest is there, the motives may be obscure, but then there is Roose Bolton... what did he discover in that book which he promptly burned? We don't, obviously, know, but its hard to avoid the suspicion it was something to do with Winterfell.
  6. Exactly so, which is why I argue that the cliche fantasy tropes are being overturned and that whatever form Jon's eventual reappearance will take, it will centre around the Musgrave Ritual that is Winterfell and the Stark family
  7. Reports anent Winds of Winter are pretty blank as to Jon. This suggests to me that he either won't appear, or if he does its going to be pretty late on - after being assassinated only halfway through ADwD. This suggests to me that when he does come back [and I'm confident he will] there will be a significant change and one that will enlighten us to the true place of the Starks and Winterfell, and no I don't see any anomalies either, or any reason or mechanism for anomalies. Jon will be King of Winter.
  8. Except in this case, Jon is ice cold, just like Bael the Bard's son
  9. The "point" of R+L=J of course is that its a diversion/distraction obscuring Jon's real destiny north of the Wall
  10. Red eyes, Jon realized, but not like Melisandre's. He had a weirwood's eyes. Red eyes, red mouth, white fur. Blood and bone, like a heart tree. He belongs to the old gods, this one. And he alone of all the direwolves was white. Six pups they'd found in the late summer snows, him and Robb; five that were grey and black and brown, for the five Starks, and one white, as white as Snow. He had his answer then. Rather says it all anent where Jon's destined to go
  11. True, and ultimately the Mabinogion rears its head too, but the Heart of Darkness remains crucial to an understanding of this episode - including the Russian's revelation that it was Kurz who ordered the ambush
  12. In considering exactly how Bloodraven fits into this and where various people in and around the cave are going, its ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to read Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The story of the journey up the river is Bran's journey to the cave and in fact latterly, including the ambush just outside, it is plagiarised from Conrad - and I use the term advisedly. Compare GRRM's description of Bloodraven with Conrad's descripton of Kurz. Coldhands is the Harlequin/Russian and what both have to say about Bloodraven/Kurz is important - as are the betrayals and how it ends.
  13. Another odd thing to bear in mind here of course is the [dead] Othor didn't really behave like a normal wight. - instead he rather behaved as if he was being skinchanged
  14. That was of course the implication. We have after all noted that the story opens with six Walkers and six direwolves
  15. Just an idle thought. The Walkers [and Coldhands] can't pass the Wall, which seems straightforward enough. Othor and Jafer couldn't pass the Wall of their own volition, but were carried to the other side - a fairly common trope in some ghost stories If Walkers are wargs based in direwolves, perhaps the direwolves can carry them through the Wall
  16. Exactly so. At this stage neither I nor anybody else knows exactly what GRRM is thinking, but there's clearly something going on, and has been going on in the past involving Starks and unless there's some unique bit of genetic coding, the direwolf connection seems a likely point and a reason for binding Starks in their tombs This also provides the necessary get out of jail free card for Jon. To all appearances he is killed. His last thought is Ghost and so he finds refuge in his direwolf. According to the Varamyr prologue however he's then trapped... unless direwolves are different
  17. Just following on from that thought about direwolves. There appears early on to be a possible distinction between skinchangers and wargs. This is never explained other than possible suggestions that wag refers to a skinchanger linked to a direwolf If so, it may be an awareness or suspicion that skinchangers linked to direwolves [and only they] may be able to move on after death
  18. As I say, according to the Varamyr prologue, the consciousness [or soul to keep it simple] can move from its own body to a host or familiar, but always returns to its own body sooner or later. However when the original body dies the soul can move at once to that familiar [Ghost in the case of one Jon Snow], but can't then move on to another. However, what I'm suggesting, is that certain wargs can remain free and rather than fade away trapped in the familiar, they can move on temporarily forming a new body from Ice and snow. I've said here and elsewhere that perhaps Starks can do it, but thinking on, it may be the direwolves. Varamyr of course had no experience of direwolves, but it may be that instead of being trapped and fading away inside a direwolf a warg can move on As to evil and/or resentful, I think it rather depends on how evil is defined. Remember that GRRM is reluctant to characterise evil. If a white walker wanders around cackling happily as he deliberately pulls legs off spiders, it might be fair to conclude that he is evil. If on the other hand he simply doesn't care who he kills, the action is certainly bad, but is it evil ?
  19. Its a very good question, but actually a pretty straightforward answer. The term "Others", is I think, purposefully vague and inexact. The "Others" are those who are outside the ordinary normal manner of beings, they are "other" and I think ultimately could include Faceless Men, who are clearly skinchangers. So, if we keep it simple and stick to the White Walkers, there's an immediate problem in that we don't have an obvious physical origin. They aint Thenns [for example] or Children of the Forest or even Orcs. Instead they appear to be ethereal beings who can ride the cold winds and from time to time can form bodies of snow and ice crystals using some kind of magic to do so. Those bodies are human in form - and at least some have Stark features [prologue AGoT]. Moreover when we see what happens to Varamyr [prologue ADWD] we find his soul riding the cold winds after his body is killed - until he is "captured" by One Eye What I'm suggesting then is that the Walkers are skinchangers/wargs, who escaped capture
  20. I'm not convinced anent the timelines either, but the geography is interesting When last seen Catelyn Stoneheart and the Freys are both in the Riverlands, which is straightforward Reports of the fake Arya could draw her north into Bolton country as well as Roose himself, but even if it happens it will take time. The interesting thing then could be Jon. Whether dead or on or beyond the Wall, he's going to be out of the story for here - unless he himself returns to Winterfell
  21. I agree. The "Children" are not the friendly elves they appear to be. That said I still think that the White Walkers were once men, but they are able to operate as they do because they first became wargs and that in turn eventually came from the Singers and the trees
  22. Catelyn Stoneheart's interactions with the Freys and the Boltons will obviously raise the bodycount but won't really drive the story in strange and interesting directions, but a conflict with Jon could be pretty epic
  23. As we've discussed already writing out characters and transferring dialogue and actions to another is pretty inevitable when adapting a story for stage or screen. GRRM doesn't have to worry about casting, scheduling and paying actors in the way that show-runners do. The trouble here is that not only is the story unfinished, but the Mummers bought into a false narrative We know its a false narrative because having embraced R+L+J, they didn't then know to achieve an ending in which Jon Snow didn't ascend the Iron Throne or save mankind as Azor Ahai, and the trouble then was that they missed the significance of Catelyn Stoneheart's likely intervention. Exactly how that conflict will develop I don't know but I can certainly see her fear/hatred of Jon and the threat he represents to her own children's claim to Winterfell being significant - especially if he represents the "old" Starks
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